[ISN] Banker Accused of E-Harrassment

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Aug 20 1998 - 19:52:30 PDT

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    Banker Accused of E-Harrassment 
    8:10am  20.Aug.98.PDT
    A judge Wednesday ordered a former Smith Barney investment banker to
    appear in court next month on charges that he harassed top executives at
    the firm by allegedly sending a series of phony email messages.
    Michael Lissack, 39, faces eight counts of aggravated harassment. He
    appeared in court Wednesday and a Manhattan Criminal Court judge set a
    hearing date for 15 September.
    According to the Manhattan district attorney, Lissack sent out email using
    the identity of Sanford Weill, chairman and chief executive officer of the
    Travelers Group, parent company of Salomon Smith Barney.
    "The officers of Salomon Smith Barney need your help. A climate of bad
    ethics and questionable morals has taken over the firm....  The moral
    compass has gone adrift," the message said. The message asked for
    responses to be sent to Jim Boshart, a vice chairman at Smith Barney, and
    gave his private number.
    Another message Lissack allegedly sent under the name of Jamie Dimon,
    another Smith Barney executive, read: "Travelers has US$1 million set
    aside to influence votes on abortion issues. Given the climate of sexual
    harassment at Smith Barney it will be no surprise to learn that Jamie
    Dimon doesn't know what to do with this money. Write or call: Let him know
    what you think!" The responses to Lissack's phony messages "tied up" the
    telephone lines at Smith Barney, according to prosecutors. 
    Lissack was hired in July 1981 and dismissed in February 1995 after he
    would not cooperate with an internal investigation. The email messages
    started in September 1996 and continued until January 1998.
    In 1995, Lissack asked for US$50 million from Smith Barney before a New
    York Stock Exchange arbitration panel, while the firm filed a counterclaim
    seeking $15 million from Lissack.  Lissack contended he had been dismissed
    for blowing the whistle on an alleged Smith Barney practice called
    "yield-burning" -- overcharging states and localities for federal Treasury
    bonds they bought when they refinanced older, more expensive debt. Smith
    Barney denied Lissack's charges and argued he was a disgruntled employee
    who had waged a campaign to injure the firm's reputation. That case was
    thrown out.
    If convicted of the harassment charges, Lissack faces up to one year in
    prison on each of the eight counts. Michael Schlein, a spokesman for Smith
    Barney, said he had no comment on the case. 
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